Perfect Picture Book Friday – These Seas Count! by Alison Formento

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because I love Ms. Formento’s books and how they teach about caring for the environment. Plus she’s a super nice person. 🙂 I’ve already added her next book “These Rocks Count” (Albert Whitman & Co, 2014) to my TBR list!

seascountThese Seas Count!

By Alison Formento

Illustrated by Sarah Snow

32 pages – ages 4+

Published by Albert Whitman & Company on March 1, 2013

Theme/Topic- Seas / sea life / environment / counting

Genre- realistic non-fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening – 
“Something happened to Sunnyside Beach. Something bad. So on Beach Clean-Up Day. Mr. Tate’s class wanted to help. When they  arrived at the seashore, they met Captain Ned.”

Mr Tate’s class travels to Sunnyside Beach to help clean it up. Pollution and trash can make the sea life sick. When the kids are at the beach they listen to the ocean and see how all of the wild life at the beach counts (literally and figuratively).

Why I liked this book – I love how Ms. Formento makes her books into a 1-10 counting book with an awesome story behind it.  So kids not only learn an important environmental lesson, they also learn to count to 10. I like how in this book, you also learn a little bit about 10 sea animals (one or two sentences each). The illustrations by Sarah Snow are pretty and full of texture (I read that she uses “digital collage” to make them). They add a lot to the story. Ms. Formento really writes a great non-fictiony fiction book, along with the cool illustrations by Ms. Snow, and together they make a wonderful informational book for young kids to enjoy! 😀

Activities and Resources –

Ms. Formento has a teachers guide to go along with her book. The guide covers vocabulary, reading comprehension, learning about the sea and sea life and much more. You can download it HERE. Plus there is a great information section about sea life in the back of the book.

Ms. Formento’s website is really great (click HERE to go THERE. She has all kinds of interesting things to go with all of her books. I reviewed These Bees Count (Albert Whitman & Company 2012) last year (see my review HERE).

Take a virtual field trip to the National Aquarium in Baltimore! The website is packed with all kinds of great information about sea life and conservation. They even have a shark cam! Click HERE to go to the aquarium.

Check out the trailer for These Seas Count!


To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!



Categories: Age 1-5, Perfect Picture Book Friday

Tags: , , , , ,

74 replies

  1. Great choice, Erik! I love all of Alison Formento’s books and am very glad to be adding this one to our list! And so many great activities! Thanks!

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  2. I’ve read THIS TREE COUNTS. I didn’t realize there was a follow up. Thanks Erik!

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  3. I’ll be looking for Allison Formento’s books next time I’m in the library. I usually go on Sunday and look for all the books I got introduced to on Friday. I love environmental books as I am a real climatologist and think doing something for our climate should be at the top of everyone’s mind. And the environment is right there along side of it. Thanks so much for introducing this author to me. This book sounds great for young kids and it’s never to early to teach about the environment. 🙂

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  4. I love the sea and it breaks my heart to see how thoughtless people can be when they leave trash that can be harmful to sea life. I applaud Allison Formento for taking on such great subjects, like the sea, to teach kids about the dangers and encourage them to take action. She/you have listed some very good resources for teachers to use with this book in the classroom. Teach kids early, because they care. Great review!

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  5. Looks wonderful, Erik! Very important subject and I love that it’s a counting book. The trailer was awesome!

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  6. Alison taught a workshop at the NJ SCBWI and I got to have my Trees Count book signed! I haven’t seen Seas yet–boy I have a long to-read list!

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  7. I am always delighted to see books about the environment.

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  8. Did you say shark cam? Cha-CHING!

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  9. A good concept book with a great story, an ecological twist, is a winner for me.

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  10. Hi Erik – this sounds like a good read, and I love your description of the art – makes me curious to check it out. I’ve had to take a break for a while and I’ve missed your wit and reviews.

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  11. This is a great book–since it has so many layers, teaching counting, the environment, and about animals. Very cool. Thanks for sharing!

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  12. This sounds like an excellent book! We have river clean up days around here. People come and float down the river gathering all kinds of trash. Amazing. I’ll have to look for this book. Thanks!

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  13. You’re right. The illustrations are very exciting. And GREAT resources, as usual! Thanks.

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  14. I was so busy trying to add this book to my hold list at the library — I almost forgot to comment. Thanks for mentioning this one. Thankfully, the library has it.

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  15. What a wonderful book to learn about the importance of the sea.

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  16. Thanks for the review! I love books that relate to the environment and I hadn’t heard of this one before!

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  17. WOW! I’m overwhelmed by this lovely review and wonderful comments for THESE SEAS COUNT! Kudos to “readingwithrhythm” for the river clean up efforts in your community. I grew up in a land-locked state (Arkansas) and now share with kids at school visits how improperly discarded food wrappers and straws, plastic bags, and other trash can end up washed into our oceans and seas no matter where you live.

    Thank you so much to Erik for his in-depth book reviews and to his blog readers, too. I know Sarah Snow, the awesome illustrator of my nature picture books, was thrilled to see this, too.

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  18. I agree with Tina, this is a great book on so many levels. Excellent review. Thanks Erik.

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  19. Illustrations look great. This is the first time I’m hearing of this author, thanks for sharing! 🙂

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  20. Great trailer! I love the idea of the sea talking and how fun that this book combines counting and a lesson the environment. I will have to check this one out.

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  21. I’ve been meaning to read Alison’s books for the longest time. I’m so glad you reviewed THIS SEA COUNTS ’cause it reminded me while I was at the computer and my library was at my fingertips. They’re ALL on their way 😀

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